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How to Make a Shepherd's Costume

If you need a biblical shepherd costume for a religious theatrical work such as a Nativity reenactment, you can easily make your own using common clothing items and linens. If you don't have spare fabric on hand or do not know how to sew, you can use sheets and pillowcases to create a gown and headpiece. Neutral-colored fabrics and muted prints will appear most realistic, but the overall design is most important in conveying the character. Finish the costume off with flat sandals and a wooden stick (such as a broom handle) for a staff.

Things You'll Need:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Elastic Band
  • Rope Or Sash
  • Flat Twin Bed Sheet
  • Pillowcase
  • Felt Pen
  • Bathrobe

Lay a twin bed sheet on a flat surface. Measure the length of the sheet and divide it in half to locate the center. Mark it with a felt pen.

Cut a 6-inch diameter circle in the center of the sheet to create a neck hole. Place the hole over the wearer’s head and adjust the sheet so the long ends provide the front and back of the gown. Adjust the size of the neck hole as needed, using the scissors. Hem the edges of the neck hole if desired.

Tie a rope or sash around the wearer’s waist.

Place a bathrobe on the wearer, over the gown. Loosely tie the robe or remove the sash and allow the robe to remain open.

Undo the stitching along the side of a pillowcase to open it up. Cut the open pillowcase in half.

Place one half on top of the wearer’s head, allowing most of the fabric to remain in the back. Do not cover the wearer's eyes. Place an elastic band over the wearer’s head to secure the pillowcase. Adjust as needed.


To make a longer gown, use an extra-long twin sheet. You can also use a full, queen or king sheet and cut it down to the appropriate size for the wearer.


  • If you use a light-colored or thin sheet, others may be able to see through the costume. Use a thick, dark sheet or wear clothing underneath your costume for modesty.
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